Guest article written by Jimmy Sorensen
A constant complaint we hear about the kids of the current generation is about their addiction to their devices, be it their computer, playstation, laptop, or even smartphone, and how they are more comfortable communicating via text messages and social media sites rather than hanging out at a coffee shop or the park. However, the fact that they are so attached to their devices does not imply that they are addicted to the technology. After the initial curiosity and the novelty of the new learning methodology have passed, children are back to square one as far as the learning process is concerned.
The True Role Played by Technology
The role played by technology is not to motivate them to better their learning, but to add impetus to the learning process by supporting the teacher. Kids are not excited by classroom tools such as Voice Thread for its technological edge. In fact they are excited by the content- driven, asynchronous conversations that can be enabled between peers. The role of technology in the learning process is also to improve efficiency and make the learning process more effective. Websites such as Kiva are not very exciting, but its content that puts the impact of the poverty of the developing world is interesting to them.
What Attracts Kids to Technology?
The feature that is most used without realizing its importance probably, is the search and filter function, which saves them a lot of time that was spent unnecessarily in browsing through books. Trying to get the kids to talk about technology, via a blog or through an active debate or discussion, does not drive them to show any active interest towards the subject. For them, digital technology is merely a resource, which can be used to complete a given task effectively and efficiently within a short time span.
Role of Tech Camps
Many kids are actively participating in tech camps since there is a realization of the importance of being abreast with the latest technology among parents. Technology has pervaded every aspect of our lives and even toddlers are entertained using tablets by parents for reading various interactive stories or playing interactive games. Kids are learning basic programming or app development and most camps start off with fun developmental activities with projects that involve creating your own game.
More advanced level tech camps train the students in learning advanced programming and much more. These camps give the kids an opportunity to learn about the technology in a manner in which sadly the state schools have not yet picked up. It also gives them an opportunity to consider technological development as a career choice once they grow up as the demand for computer engineers, programmers, and software developers is expected to escalate in the future.
However, kids enjoy tech camps for the novelty of creating something unique by themselves and also because the approach used in tech camps to teach children is fairly different. At the end, the question should not be about how aware the kids should be about technology, but about what they would like to learn from it and how they would like to use it.
About the author:
Jimmy Sorensen is a blogger & camp instructor iD Tech Camps who love kids & enjoy instructing them at summer camp. You can follow him on twitter @jimmy_sorensen or email him – firstname.lastname@example.org.